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36 Types of Roofs (Styles) for Houses (Illustrated Roof Design Examples)

Discover the 36 different types of roofs for a house. This gallery includes terrific roof design illustrations so you can easily see the differences between types of roofs. Includes A-frame, bonnet, gable, hip, mansard, butterfly, valley combination, shed and more.

Roof styles and designs featured image chartThere are a surprising few types of roofs for the home. While 36 sounds like a lot, when you check out our list below, several are variations of one type.

Intricate roofs have many parts that incorporate several of the basic roof designs such as a gable roof sitting atop a gambrel or variations of the gable & valley roof design using one or a variety of different types of roof trusses (also see our very detailed diagrams showing the different parts of a roof truss).

Also different architectural styles will use the same type of roof. For example, you can have a gambrel roof on a cape cod or shingle-style home (plus other architectural styles).

That said, in many cases a home will incorporate one roof style throughout.

Below is our poll where you can vote for your favorite style of roof. Below that is our list of roof design illustrations that clearly illustrate the various types of roof designs of Tinsmith in Gothenburg.

Related: How Much Does a Replacement Roof Cost?

Anatomy of a Roof

Roof cross section diagram

Roof Type Chart

Illustrated chart showing 36 different types of roofs

Related: DIY Roof Repair Options | Types of Roof Vents | Parts of a Roof Gutter | Types of gutters

1. A-Frame Roof

The A-Frame is very easy to identify.

It’s steep, pointed roof which extends all the way to the ground or close to the ground. The roof makes up much or all off the walls of the home. It’s a very simple roof design and is inexpensive because the roof serves as both roof and walls.

A-frame roof illustration

2. Bonnet

The bonnet roof is identified with the extending ledge around the base of the roof.

The other part of the roof can be many designs such as hip, gambrel or gable… when adding an extended ledge, it becomes a bonnet variation of that roof design.

Read our bonnet roof guide here.

Bonnet roof illustration

3. Butterfly

The butterfly roof is an inverted gable roof.

It’s a V-shape. It’s rather odd looking roof design and is not used much. However, one benefit of the butterfly roof is you end up with tall ceilings on two sides of the home.

Butterfly roof diagram

4. Clerestory

A clerestory roof has an interior wall built extending above one section of the roof, with this section of wall often lined with several windows, or one long window.

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The sections of roof either side of the vertical wall are typically sloping, allowing a large amount of natural light into the windows.

Clerestory roof diagram

5. Combination

A combination roof is, quite literally, a combination of types of roofs.

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Often incorporating two or more designs for aesthetics and practical reasons, combination roofs can feature a range of styles; a clerestory and hip roof, for example. This is a great option for a unique, interesting look.

Combination roof diagram

6. Curved Roof

A curved roof adds an extremely modern, interesting feature to any building. Modern roofs take advantage of the flexibility of metal materials, creating one large curved structure.

Curved roofs do help to reduce resistance to wind, but are mainly chosen due to the stunning aesthetic look they can add to a building.

Curved roof diagram

7. Dome

A dome roof, unsurprisingly, is a roof in the shape of a dome.

A complex and durable design, this type of roof adds a beautiful aesthetic to a building, and can be seen in many historical buildings from the Capitol Building in Washington D.C., to the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Dome roof diagram

8. Dormer

Dormers contain a window that projects vertically from a traditional pitched roof, creating an extended window in the roof.

This type of roof is most popular in loft conversions, providing an easy way of expanding the space and natural light in the converted loft room.

Dormer roof diagram

9. Flat

While plain looking below, the flat roof is frequently used on modern and mid-century style homes and can be a striking design if you like the modern look.

Flat roof diagram

10. Box Gable

Box gable roofs have two sloping sides that meet to form a ridge, with a triangular

extension on either side that is boxed off from the walls.

This type of roof is popular for areas with cold weather conditions, providing a stable design that deals well with rain and snow.

Box Gable roof diagram

11. Open Gable

An open gable roof is identical to a box gable roof, with the only exception the boxed offsides on either end.

In this type of roof, the ends are left open to meet the walls directly there are no added benefits between the two, the choice is purely based on aesthetics.

Open gable roof diagram

12. Cross Gabled

A cross gable roof is a design that consists of two or more gable roof ridges that intersect at an angle, most commonly perpendicular to one another.

This type of roof is often seen in buildings with a more complex layout, for example, homes with an attached garage.

Cross gabled roof diagram

13. Dutch Gable

The Dutch gable (hip) roof is a hybrid of a gable and hip type of roof.

A full or partial gable can be found at the end of the ridge in the roof, allowing for a greater amount of internal roof space.

This style also improves the look of the roof providing a more unique and interesting design than the very common simple hip roof.

Dutch gable roof diagram

14. Front Gable

Front gable roofs have the roof ridge in line with the building’s entrance.

This type of roof is commonly seen on Colonial-style homes, but is an increasingly popular design for modern buildings.

Front gable roof diagram

15. Gable and Valley Roof

The gable and valley roof is a very popular roof design. It’s also known as a cross gable roof since the home has a cross footprint.

Interestingly, you can mix and match roof styles when building a gable and valley roof designs for a cross footprint home.

Gable and valley roof diagram

16. Gable Roof with Dormer Window

The gable roof with dormer is extremely popular and again you can mix and match roof styles.

For example, you can have the main roof gabled with a gambrel dormer or vice-versa.

Gable roof with dormer window diagram

17. Gable Roof with Shed Addition

Some gable roof designs have a shed roof addition on the side.

This is a popular alteration to the standard gable roof, providing more headroom and space for an extension without having to completely alter the existing roof.

Gable roof with shed roof addition diagram

18. Gambrel

The gambrel roof has a distinct look for sure. It’s a 4-sided roof. The top 2 sides extending from the peak are not as steep as the bottom 2 sides.

Gambrel roofs often include window dormers, but not as always.

Gambrel roof diagram

19. Hexagonal Gazebo

This complex roofing design makes any garden gazebo really stand out.

Formed of six triangular identically pitched roof panels and six supporting rafters, this type of roof is most typically used for a beautifully unique gazebo addition to a home or commercial garden lawn.

Hexagonal gazebo roof diagram

20. Jerkinhead

Jerkinhead roofs, also known as clipped gables or snub gables, are essentially a gable roof with the two peak ends are clipped off.

The advantage of this design is that the clipped ends to reduce potential wind damage to the home, making the roof more stable.

Jerkinhead roof roof diagram

21. Hipped

The hip roof is identified with inward sloping ends on the roof. If the four sides of the

roof meets at a point, it’s a pyramid hip roof. When they don’t, it’s a simple hip roof.

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See our hipped roof gallery here.

Hipped roof diagram

22. Hip and Valley Roof

The hip and valley roof is similar to the gable and valley except the roof ends slope inward.

You can combine gable and hip designs with a cross footprint home as well.

Read our full hip and valley roof guide here.

Hip and valley roof diagram

23. Pyramid Hip

The pyramid hip roof is one where all four sides meet in one point.

It can include dormers, but is often used on ranch style homes which has no upper floor and therefore dormers aren’t necessary.

Pyramid hip roof diagram

24. Cross Hipped

A cross hipped roof is a common roof type, with perpendicular hip sections that form an “L” or “T” shape in the roof hip.

This is a great option for buildings with more complex layout than a simple rectangular of square, and is a type of roof that will hold well in rain, snow or windy conditions.

Cross hipped roof diagram

25. Half-Hipped

A half hipped roof is almost identical to a simple hip roof design, but instead, the two sides of the roof are shortened, creating eaves at the either side of the house.

This type of roof provides more options for extending the loft and installing windows, allowing a greater amount of natural light into the room.

Half-hipped roof diagram

26. Simple Hip

The popular simple hip roof is a type of roof where all four sides feature symmetrical gentle slopes towards the walls, with no gables or vertical sides to the roof.

The defining feature of hip roofs is that the roof faces are almost always identical in pitch, making them symmetrical from the center point.

Simple hip roof diagram

27. Mansard

A mansard roof is a four-sided gambrel roof, with each side having a double slope of one steep slope and one shallow upper slope.

Mansard roofs are a popular option for buildings wishing to maximize the amount of living space in the building, providing the option to use the loft as an additional living space.

Mansard roof diagram

28. Mansard with Dormers

Mansard roof with dormers built-in.

Mansard roof with dormers diagram

29. Pyramid Mansard

The mansard roof is identified with steep sides that create a cap effect. This is a French roof historically and the design has a functional purpose which is to create more usable space in upper floors. Mansard roofs can include window dormers and often do since the space is usable and therefore the dormers provide natural light.

The pyramid version of the mansard roof includes a pyramid design on top of the steep sides instead of a flat top.

Pyeramid mansard roof diagram

30. Flare-Out Mansard Roof

This mansard style roof flares out at the bottom.

Flare-Out Mansard roof diagram

31. M-Shaped

An M-shaped roof is double-pitched roof; essentially a double gable.

The roof rests on two bearing walls with two sloping walls meeting in the middle to form an “M” shape.

Central guttering runs between the two pitches to stop any snow or rain building up in the winter season.

M-shaped roof diagram

32. Parapet

A parapet roof is a flat roof with the walls of the building extending upwards past the roof by a few feet around the edges.

The addition of a parapet makes a flat roof far safer, providing a small barrier that provides additional security to reduce the likelihood of anyone standing the roof falling over the edge.

Parapet roof diagram

33. Saltbox

While not popular, the saltbox roof is great for creating vaulted ceilings in part of a home and a corresponding loft overlooking the vaulted ceiling rooms.

Saltbox roof diagram

34. Shed or Sloped Roof

The shed roof is a very simple roof. It’s essentially a flat roof that’s sloped.

It allows for vaulted ceilings or an upper floor for part of the home, depending on the slope and design of the home.

Additionally, the clipped ends provide more headroom in the loft than a traditional hip roof.

Shed or sloped roof diagram

35. Shed Roof or Skillion

A skillion roof has a single flat surface pitched at a steep angle to allow water runoff.

Also known as a “shed roof”, skillion roofs are extremely easy and cheap to construct as they are made of simply one piece of roofing.

Shed roof or skillion diagram

36. Skillion and Lean-To

A lean-to roof, similar to a skillion roof, is composed of one angled pitch.

The roof is supported at one end by a wall raised higher than the other, enabling the roof to be pitched at a steeper angle to allow runoff in heavy rain.

Skillion roof and lean-to diagram